Can you survive An Unholy Return: The 31 Games of Halloween?
Return Fire Reviewed by Darryn Striga on . Rating: 85%
Return Fire
Return Fire Return Fire Return Fire
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I remember getting a demo disk for my computer back in 1995 that included not only my first experience with the now-classic WarCraft II, but also Return Fire. That was a demo disk that I must have played the death out of -- not stopping until I had attained both games in question.

Most people will remember the PC version best because, well, this IS Defunct Games for a reason. But the 3DO version was the superior one, and I'll tell you why a little later.

First of all: the game play. It's a top-down strategy game, or at least that's what it tries to look like, when in reality it's a fully 3D world you're moving around in, as you'll notice the first time the camera pans out to take something in, or as you drive through a small enemy camp and watch the buildings go past.

The objective is simple - capture the enemy flag and return it to your base. However, your enemy controls pretty much the entire field, and you're only one person. Fortunately you have a selection of vehicles to choose from, including a helicopter, a tank, an armoured personnel carrier equipped with rockets, and a poorly equipped jeep.

First you must locate the enemy flag (located in one of the enemy buildings) using the quick, though surprisingly weak tank, the air-based but easily targeted helicopter, or the strong but slow APC. Once located it's up to your speedy little jeep to zip in there, grab the flag and grenade his way back to the base as fast as he can under fire of turrets and enemy copters.

Sound like fun? Oh it is. It also gets better!

The maps offer a lot of variations of the same terrain, but there are TONS of them to keep you going. It's still disappointing never to be trudging through the snow or a thick jungle, but it's easily overlooked.

Also, the entire terrain is destructible; from the trees to the buildings, the bridges to tents. It's great. Even when little people rush out of buildings about to collapse, whipping grenades in a futile effort to slow your menacing tank, you're free to run them down, turning them into tiny human-sized bloodstains. Much the same way the blood oozed forth from crushed tents.

Taking out bridges brings me to the next point - multiplayer. One of the reasons the 3DO port is the superior version is because multiplayer is made easier with two controllers (the other reason being that the 3DO got the only Return Fire expansion: Maps 'o Death). With another human player the fun is unimaginable, trying to find each other's flag, and trying to stop the other from taking yours. You can take out bridges strategically, but be careful not to take one out that you'll need! Bridge gaps won't stop your jeep usually, but the jeep is weak to fire, and hard to search for the flag with. Helicopter to helicopter fights, tank vs. APC in the trees; oh the games can be fun.

Oh, and the last thing - the music. Amazing! Each vehicle has its own classical score; Flight of the Bumblebee for the tiny jeep, In the Hall of the Mountain King for the slow APC, etc. It's absolutely great, even if you're not a fan of classical music it just fits so well, and sounds so good.

If you own a 3DO then you probably already own this game. If you have a 3do, but DON'T have this game, then you wasted your money.
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